Kyle’s Journey in Armenia

Just Another Peace Corps Blog

  • Kyle? In Armenia?

    My name is Kyle, and I am a Peace Corps volunteer in Noyemberyan, Armenia. I will live here until August 2008 and am an Information Technology volunteer. In addition to my primary assignment developing my region's WiFi internet, I also teach computer and English classes to area youth. Thank you for visiting!

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10
Aug 2008
Chinese President Declares “Games are Open, Kyle is a Man”
Posted in Peace Corps by Kyle at 7:41 am |

After surviving Russia, things could only get better on our trip. And they have, as we made our way south through Asia into Mongolia and into China the past few days. We arrived in Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, late on the night of the 6th. So, we did not really get to see much of Mongolia, but my impression is that it’s a very interesting and different country from Russia, despite the Soviet influence. The city itself was smaller and very dirty - a lot of dust and older buildings. But, unlike Russia, the people were extremely friendly and helpful, spoke English, and all of the restaurants had English menus. It’s a pity we could not have stayed there longer, as the main highlight is to head into the countryside, ride horses and stay in tents. Always next time…

We hopped on the train the next morning and set off for China. The train was very nice, had air conditioning and a shower car, tvs and headphones in our compartment, and was just comfortable. Crossing the border was easy (for once) and we arrived in Beijing around 2 PM on 08.08.08 - the first day of the OLYMPICS!

I must say, so far Beijing has been extremely impressive. The city is immaculate; all of the buildings and roads are clean, and there are both security officers and volunteers EVERYWHERE. They are very helpful. The public transportation and taxis are well organized and clean, including meters in all the taxis so that there’s not even the option to get ripped off.

Since we arrived on the day of the Opening Ceremonies, and we were too poor to afford the thousand dollar tickets, we went to a park where the Olympics Committee had set up big screen TVs for people to watch. The park was nice and beautifully decorated, and it was a great atmosphere to watch the Opening Ceremonies. The Chinese are very energetic and very proud of hosting the Olympics, and it was a cool experience to watch it with them. The ceremony itself was so impressive, but my favorite part was when all the athletes came into the stadium. In the crowd, there were people from countries all around the world (from Argentina to Australia to Armenia), and when they stood up to cheer on their country, the rest of the crowd applauded for them as well. It was really cool and was a great showcase of the Olympic spirit.

While we came home late, we woke up the next morning early to go to the Great Wall of China, which all the signage continued to remind us is a, “wonder of the world.” We got there early in the morning to avoid the crowds, but it was also very foggy so the wall was harder to see than normal. Regardless, it was beautiful, but also extremely humid, and so we were drenched with sweat by the end of the trip. To get down, they had a toboggan ride, which was a lot of fun! We also read, in a Chinese newspaper, that Chairman Mao once said, “You are not a man until you have climbed the Great Wall.” So, I can add “becoming a man” to my list of accomplishments this trip has helped me accomplish. Sweet.

When we got home, we walked around the Olympic Green and took pictures of the major stadiums from the highway. The environment is electric here and people are really in the spirit of the games.

We’ve been having a great time, and still have three more days here. Today we are going to Tiananmen Square, and then to the Forbidden City. Tonight, we go to our first event, the Men’s 58 kg Weightlifting Finals, which should be exciting (especially to see a medal ceremony). Tomorrow we have handball and more weightlifting tickets, and then we head to Hong Kong (and home!) on the 12th. The Internet is slow here so I will have all my pictures up later today - keep checking.


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Chinese President Declares “Games are Open, Kyle is a Man” | Peace Corps Wiki Journal said:

[...] Chinese President Declares “Games are Open, Kyle is a Man” [...]


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The views expressed herein are the views of the author and do not express those of Peace Corps Armenia or the United States government.